What a wonderful meeting listening to three speakers (I was one for Love You More Than You Know), sharing ideas, tips, talking about writing, and eating lunch.
The round chocolate cake in the center of the table greeted us with script written in yellow icing: Thank you for your service Sgt. Joe. Our family gathered in honor of my son, Sgt. Joseph Reinart.
After 9/11, my son enlisted to serve and protect our country. This gathering was to acknowledge his personal courage and selfless service thanking him for what he did for us as a family and as a country. His eight year commitment in the Army is complete. Throughout his service he grew from an inexperienced boy to a young man with integrity and honor.
My son taught me to care for people more globally. He showed me that he did his best at all times. Because of his service, my prayers continue everyday for our troops and their families. Thank you Sgt. Joe, you made your mom proud!
Yesterday, I became a Grandmommy again! My new granddaughter is so sweet and as beautiful as my daughter in law. My son was tearing up all day whenever he looked at his first child or talked about his tiny new daughter. Now he knows a parent’s love. As I held her in my arms, I marveled at her lightness, and perfection–a fragile miracle–delicate as a bird. May God bless this precious life and angels guard her every day.
Seeing my son leave…dressed in his fatigues, heading towards dangerous territory in Iraq…trying to hold onto him one last time with hugs and kisses… having to let go so he can serve and defend our country to the best of his ability and give freedom to others …was heart wrenching … I wanted to protect him like I always had, but now it was time to let him go. He had to leave the vice like grip of his Mother’s arms around him. I watched him walk away…so proud, so strong, so brave …all the while my heart was breaking under all the pressure of possibly never seeing him again.
I’ll never forget the day, last June, when my daughter Kristy (who has been in the Navy for 10 years) called me at work and said: “Mom, are you sitting down?” She proceeded to tell me that my son, Matt, (in the Navy 6 years in IT with a Top Secret clearance) was being sent with the Army to Afghanistan.
See blurb and excerpt about LYMTYK on Cleveland Magazine’s website.
We were just getting ready to leave for parents’ weekend in Chicago and John was leaving the next day for his Navy assignment in Guam.
“Thank God you’re not going to Iraq”, I said.
John replied, “Well Mom, actually I am”.
Hitting me with a bat couldn’t have been more of a shock. I went out in the garage and cried.
You can’t imagine the helpless feeling of existing in Fairview Park with your son half way around the world and every second not knowing where he is. John was a Seabee, which gave some comfort…once he was there; he wasn’t supposed to be moved until it was time to return home. We received calls that he was chosen to be moved several times, once on Christmas Eve and again on New Years Eve.
I remember getting William’s first letter from boot camp in Paris Island. It was like a scene from The Waltons with everybody gathered around hanging on every word I read, waiting to get the letter and read it themselves.
We attended his graduation. He looked so handsome and professional. Walking to the parade deck, I saw my son! He spotted us out of the corner of his eye and then looked straight ahead. I know he saw us… he knew we were there. We were a military family now!…then came 9/11.